OceanGate was warned by Titanic director James Cameron
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“I felt in my bones the loss of the Titan submersible,” says James Cameron, who directed Titanic in 1997.

The wreck of the Titanic has been dived 33 times by Cameron.

The sub went missing on Sunday, and he didn’t hear about it until Monday while he was on a ship.

Upon learning that the sub had lost both navigation and communication simultaneously, he immediately suspected disaster.

“I felt it in my bones. For the sub’s electronics to fail, its communication system to fail, and its tracking transponder to fail at the same time – it’s gone.”

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  • After losing contact with the sub, the Navy detected implosion sounds

He continued, “I immediately called some of my contacts in the deep submersible community. Within about an hour, I had the following information: They were on descent. They were at 3500 metres and heading for the bottom at 3800 metres.

“Their comms were lost, and navigation was lost – and I said instantly, you can’t lose comms and navigation together without an extreme catastrophic event or high, highly energetic catastrophic event. And the first thing that popped to mind was an implosion.”

On Thursday, an official from the US Navy told the BBC’s partner CBS News that the navy had detected “an acoustic anomaly consistent with an implosion” shortly after the Titan lost contact with the surface.

The official said the information had been relayed to the US Coast Guard team which used it to narrow the radius of the search area.

Cameron told BBC News the past week had “felt like a prolonged and nightmarish charade where people are running around talking about banging noises and talking about oxygen and all this other stuff”.

“I knew that sub was sitting exactly underneath its last known depth and position. That’s exactly where they found it,” he continued.

He added that once a remotely controlled underwater vehicle was deployed on Thursday, searchers had “found it within hours, probably within minutes”.

Cameron also suggested that there was a “terrible irony” in the loss of Titan and its crew, likening it to the loss of the Titanic itself back in 1912.

“We now have another wreck that is based on unfortunately the same principles of not heeding warnings,” he said. “OceanGate were warned.”

He said the company had had people working internally who quit but he did not specify why.

He went on to say that some within the deep submergence community, not including himself directly, had written a letter to OceanGate saying they believed, in his words, “you are going on a path to catastrophe”.

Cameron is not the first to raise concerns about the tourism firm’s operations.

A letter sent to OceanGate by the Marine Technology Society (MTS) in March 2018 and obtained by the New York Times stated “the current ‘experimental’ approach adopted by OceanGate… could result in negative outcomes (from minor to catastrophic)”.

Separately, US court documents show a former employee of OceanGate warned of potential safety problems with the vessel as far back as 2018.

The documents show that David Lochridge, the company’s director of marine operations, raised concerns in an inspection report.

OceanGate declined to comment on Mr Lochridge’s and MTS’s safety concerns.